Grade 10 Lessons

Teacher Voice: Grade 10 Pre-AP* World History—Julie Abrahams, Stratford High School, Spring Branch ISD, Houston, Texas

The purpose of my Pre-AP* world history course is to ensure that students will walk into AP* U.S. history next year feeling well prepared. There are several specific skills we work on. First, we look in-depth at primary sources, focusing on what a primary source is and how to analyze the reliability and accuracy of the author. This leads into examining documents for the purpose of writing an essay. Students come into this class aware of how to write an essay, but I am teaching them how to write an essay using the historical documents provided. They learn to use the documents to formulate and then support a thesis. Basically, we are writing mini-DBQs (document-based questions). This is one of the most difficult concepts for high school students to grasp, so we are doing our best to ensure that they leave Pre-AP world history with a full understanding of how to answer these questions.

My Pre-AP classes are also more interactive than my regular classes. We analyze and evaluate the periods of history we study on a much deeper level. Students are taught to see comparisons and connections between these major eras and see how they have impacted life in the world today. One activity we do to encourage this higher order thinking is called Learning Through Discussion (LTD), which is a class discussion led completely by the students. In these discussions we take an era we are studying and analyze it; then the students draw connections to today’s world.

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